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Parliament making progress towards passing 2014 budget

Updated: 2013-12-31 PM 2:28:25 (KST)
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Parliament restarted talks Tuesday to pass not only the national budget for next year, but a series of other key bills.
The national budget will be put to a vote at Tuesday's parliamentary budget committee meeting before it goes to the National Assembly's plenary session.
Earlier Tuesday, the ruling Saenuri Party and main opposition Democratic Party agreed to add a clause in the bill on reforming the nation's spy agency which has been a hurdle in passing the budget.
The bill bans National Intelligence Service agents from having full access to government offices, including media outlets, and it also stipulates penalties for any illegal activities performed by agents who are part of the psychological warfare unit.
President Park Geun-hye has urged parliament to pass the 340-billion-U.S. dollar national budget by year's end because if it fails to do so the government will have to put together a provisional budget which would severely curtail spending intended to boost Korea's economy.
If this were to happen, the government could only execute mandatory expenditure, spend money on maintaining some public organizations and continue previously approved business projects.
Such spending accounts for around 40 percent of the proposed budget.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.

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